A Sense of Wonder

Incredipede is now public!

You can find the trailer and some information over at Incredipede.com.

I unveiled the game at Sense of Wonder Night at the Tokyo Game Show. Sense of Wonder Night is a great showcase of odd, interesting games. It aims to capture the audiences imagination with new and wondrous ideas. It stands in contrast to the main expo hall of the Tokyo Game Show which is filled with your typical big-budget low-risk AAA games.

SOWN was an amazing experience! I shared the stage with 10 other really great games. You can find the full list here. One of the great things about being indie is that we’re all looking out for each other. There is no feeling of competition in the indie games world. The general feeling is that if one person’s game does well then that will just bring more players into the scene. That makes indie events like this really really fun. That, and the fact that interesting games tend to be made by interesting people.

SOWN was very well organised by Kiyoshi Shin, president of the IGDA in Japan. The show started at 5:30pm but we first met up at 1:00. We all met, shook hands, and most importantly all tried out our presentations on the hardware we’d be using. We also met our translators who were very friendly and professional. They wanted a loose script for each presentation and while I had one ready some other teams had to write one up. From there we kind of split up. The reflow and Playism guys and us headed down to the expo to check out some games (the guys from Playism showed Inside a Star Filled Sky because Jason Rohrer couldn’t make it).

We bee-lined it for the Playism booth. They had a bunch of great games to play. The two that I happened to land in front of were Celestial Mechanica and Lume which you really have to go check out if you haven’t played them.

We wandered back to the set-up room where the Solstice and then the Eufloria guys both did dry runs of their presentations with us as an audience. They both went well, but they were both better at the actual event. I guess having a proper audience makes you more focused :)

I got to play Solstice after their dry run. It looks fun when you watch someone play but spectating doesn’t do it justice. It’s a wonderful experience to play it yourself. I haven’t played many kinect games but this is the first one I’ve really liked. The immersive feeling of flight is really strong. If these guys really push through their ideas they’re going to get an amazing game out of it.

After that it was time to go to the show room. Kiyoshi Shin walked us through the order and how the evening would flow, we all got our “quackers“, and they started letting in the crowd.

I’m not made very nervous about public speaking but over the last hours and days a fair amount of nervous energy had built up. I did some push-ups to try to burn it off but mostly I just got jittery and itched to get it over with. Unfortunately I was going last so I would have to wait two hours before I could release all the pent up tension. By the time my turn came my jittery body had just exhausted itself and I was filled with an unexpressable tension. But when it came time to get up there whatever part of my brain handles public speaking took over and everything went pretty well. Tell me what you think:

Finishing the talk was a nice rush. All the tension melted away and the crowd loved the game. I think Sarah was more nervous than I was and it was great to walk back to her beaming face. After the wrap up we all headed downstairs for some free booze. By the time we got there all the beer had been taken so we were stuck with bad whisky and wine until Kiyoshi Shin brought around some Asahi he managed to scrounge somewhere, I have no idea where he could have found it.

The Playism guys live in japan so, naturally, after the SOWN party they hooked us up with the Karaoke. About 20 of us rented out a big private karaoke room down the street and partied the night away. That bit’s a little hazy but I’m pretty sure it was amazingly fun. All in all it was a pretty wondrous night.

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